38. How to plan holiday gatherings around your baby‘s schedule - Tips for the new mom about babywearing, sleep schedules, & setting boundaries with family
Are you stressing about how you’ll manage all your holiday plans without disrupting your baby’s schedule? This episode is for you!
In today’s episode, I go over the things you need to think about BEFORE you solidify any plans, as well as how to set boundaries around when/where you’ll be taking your baby and how/if you’ll be playing “pass the baby.”
Listen in if you want to enjoy this holiday season without feeling stressed about wrecking your baby’s routine!
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FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPTION:
Hey there friends. Welcome to the better postpartum podcast. I’m your host Angel Swan, crunchy mom, coffee addict and postpartum doula turned new mom, coach. This podcast is your audio guide to not just surviving but thriving during those early and newborn days. If you want to care for yourself, your household and your baby with confidence, grab your earbuds because this is the only podcast that you need. So what do you say? Should we get started with today’s episode? Let’s do this. Hey, hey, friends, thank you for tuning in today. Before we get started, I just wanted to read this really sweet review submitted by LRC. It says first time mama here with seven ish weeks left to research everything there is to know about newborns and babies. I’m definitely a more crunchy person. And I’m looking forward to things like cloth diapering, breastfeeding, making baby food from vegetables I grow etc. Many of my friends and family who I’ve talked to have tried to discourage me from these crunchy ideas and started to make me doubt my abilities to raise a child using more natural and sustainable methods. Angel has given me the confidence and knowledge to raise my newborn the way I want to, and has really calmed my anxiety about taking care of my first child. I’m so thankful that I found her podcast when I did, and highly recommend it for any new mom looking for some outside of the box advice. Thank you angel for not only giving me the confidence in myself and my beliefs, but also giving me the knowledge to be successful with my newborn. That is so sweet. Thank you so much for that review. And if you’re listening to this right now, like if you are loving this podcast, and you’re learning from it, please please, please go over to Apple podcasts and subscribe, leave me a five star rating and or a review because those little love notes like what LRC just left me that seriously, like makes my day and it helps other new moms find this podcast so that they can learn from it, too. So thank you again to LRC. Now let’s get into today’s episode, which is how to plan your holiday gatherings around your baby’s schedule. So it’s no secret that the holiday season is stressful. Like truly, it’s supposed to be fun, but it’s really stressful. And I know it stressed me out before I even had a kid to throw into the mix, right? So you know, you’ve got parties to go to, you’ve got to travel. And now you’ve got a baby to throw into the mix, like on top of everything else that you have to play around and do and all this stuff. And a lot of times like the people that you want to go and see, you know, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. They have literally no idea how important it is to keep your baby on their schedule or like on their routine. They just don’t get it. They’re not thinking about the things that you’re thinking about. Right? You know, what happens if they don’t get their nap? What happens if they go to bed too late? What happens when you push your feeding back a bit too far because people want to play with them. Or same thing what happens when you push their nap back a little too far? Because people just want to keep playing with them and don’t respect to the nap. Right? Rude? Well, I know that you know, your family and friends, they really mean well. And the thing is, they just need to understand your boundaries. The only way they’re going to do that is if you set the boundaries. So they need to understand you know, your day your holiday plans are going to revolve around your baby schedule. You know, do you even know your baby schedule is the first thing that you should ask yourself? And do you know all of their routines because if you don’t know those things, how are you going to be able to communicate that with your family. So before you can communicate to your family about like, your availability, what they can expect, you know, you’ll need to nail down your baby’s routine and their needs. So if you don’t know it already, track out like a couple days like three or four days, maybe use like an app and track your babies routine. At least track like when they eat and when they sleep.
And if you already know their routine, maybe write it like in a memo on your phone or keep it on a piece of paper that you can like easily reference when people are talking to you and like trying to make plans. So you don’t have to you don’t have to store everything in your brain right? Mom Brain is for real. So having that on a memo on your phone or piece of paper can be really helpful and help you stay on track. And if you’ve been following me for a while, I’m really hoping that by now you have implemented or started to implement my eat place next sleep routine, which gives you so much predictability to your day. But if you haven’t done that already If you have no idea what I’m talking about, maybe listen to this stuff backwards, go to Episode 25. And you can learn all about that routine and how it will save your day truly is some serious magic. So once you’ve gotten a good idea of like when your baby’s going to be eating and sleeping each day, then you can start to make your official holiday plans. So it’s pretty much inevitable that your holiday plans are going to be happening at the same time that your baby would normally be eating or sleeping. And that is totally okay. You just need a plan going into it. So you can set yourself up for success. So you need to know things like where will they sleep? Where will they eat? So when you go to have these conversations with whoever you’re going to go and visit, right, you need to just set the boundaries and the expectations from the very beginning of the conversation. So you know, hey, I know that we want to get together on Christmas, we need to leave by 6pm. So that baby can go down by seven. So if dinner isn’t done by 6pm, then we’ll need to leave to keep the baby on schedule. And if they’re like, oh, dinner, that’s such an early dinner time. Well, you know, we really do need to have that dinner early. Otherwise, we’re just gonna have to leave at six and miss out on dinner. And just leave it at that. Like we’re not blaming anybody. We’re not getting combative, like it is what it is, blame the baby. Blame the baby. It’s so easy, right? You’re late for something, oh, the baby did whatever. Like. It’s, it’s a great excuse. Sometimes we don’t want to blame baby for everything. But with stuff like this, these hard conversations, I’m gonna give you a pass, you can blame the baby. Or, you know, when you’re back to the conversation, right? Like, oh, you know, the baby needs to take a nap at 1pm. So I really would like to have a separate, quiet space to set up their pack and play for nap time. where’s a good place for me to do that. And they might have a separate room for you. Or if they don’t have another room for you, then you might want to consider changing the time of your visit. Or maybe you’ll need to just wear the baby and like a rap or your baby wearing carrier so that they can just sleep on you and you just keep visiting. Depending on your baby’s age that might work. Or depending on how to hire they get like smaller babies newborns to like four months, we’ll probably sleep in a carrier. Or when they get a little more alert, it can be a little bit tough to get them to fall asleep in there. So just go based on your baby, you know them you know what they need. So just think about that. Also, you know, do you need a space in the fridge for like breast milk ready made formula, or maybe your homemade baby food. Like, if you need these things, make sure that you ask your host to make sure that they’ll have a small space for those things. You can always like bring a cooler like you would do anywhere else. But I know like, I don’t know about you. But for me when we go somewhere for like the holidays, we’re there for a long time we’re there for hours and hours and hours. It’s not like a quick visit. So if it were me, I would want to space in the fridge. But that’s up to you, you can bring a cooler if you want to bring a cooler. So the next thing that you need to be really clear about is whether or not you’re okay with playing past the baby. We are still in the middle of a pandemic as I’m recording this. And even without a pandemic, to be honest. First time moms new moms tend to be very protective of their babies, which is totally fine. But you know, holiday gatherings are definitely going to be happening. So just make sure that you have a game plan for how you want to go about all of that. So you know, are you going to let other people hold the baby? Are you going to let other people kiss the baby? I feel like even when you say no kissing like it’s inevitable. They’re gonna just do it. It’s literally a human instinct to like kiss the baby’s head. It’s really annoying as a mom to watch other people kiss your baby when
you specifically told them not to. So just keep that in mind. If you let them hold the baby, they might end up kissing the baby. So think about that when you’re making your rolls. And then also, are you going to wear the baby the whole visit so that no one is tempted to like touch them or hold them or whatever. I know like the first party that we went to with Jenny, she was just under two months old. So she still had not received any vaccinations. And she was like vulnerable basically her immune system would not be able to handle the past the baby game. And I was being over protective maybe but also this party was freaking huge. There were literally over 100 people at the event. So, and this was pre COVID. So just I don’t know, like 100 people plus felt like a lot. And everybody knew about Jenny, they all were excited to meet her. And I just didn’t want germs all over my little one all over my newborn. So we did not want to play pass the baby, we did not want anyone to really touch her. They were allowed to touch her feet. And that was it. So Eric, and I just like took turns, wearing her in our carrier, or just holding her we. So you know, it was a little bit tough, because it was all on us. But at the same time, she didn’t get sick. So it’s all good. It’s all good. It’s such a short period of time to have all of this on you and your partner. And just, you know, an event, you know, it’s not it’s not so bad. So, you know, they might call you over protective. But you know, like I said, as a new mom, it’s just your instinct to be over protective. They are your baby, they are your spawn, you just birthed them. You carry them for so long in your womb, and now they’re here and you just want to like take care of them and make sure that they’re safe. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen those memes about like a new mom versus like a seasoned Mom where like the new mom is like, don’t touch the baby. Don’t kiss the baby hand sanitizer before you touch or what like all these things like spraying Lysol everywhere. And then this seasoned mom is just like, oh, there’s a stranger, hey, hold my baby for a second, I’m gonna go do this thing real quick. It’s just, it’s totally normal. And it’s okay. If you want to protect your baby, you know, don’t let other people’s opinions about that impact your decision to handle the holidays, however you see fit. That’s the thing. When you have your own family, you get to call the shots. Nobody else does. It’s your baby. People can have their opinions, they can give you unsolicited advice, whatever. But like all of the decisions are yours to make. So if you want to take your baby with you to holiday gatherings, by all means do it right. But do it on your terms. You have to advocate for yourself. And for your baby. Suggest times of the day that would be easier for you and your family to get together like thinking about is your baby fussier in the evenings. Why not suggest like a morning or a lunch get together. Or if your baby takes a really long nap in the middle of the day, and maybe suggest a time that’s not going to interfere with that nap, because that’s probably their most solid nap of the day, right. And then, of course, like be very clear about how you want your baby to be handled, if at all right if you want other people’s to touch them. So if you don’t want others to have their hands all over your baby, just let everybody know that you and your partner are going to be holding them the whole time just to prevent catching any colds. If you’re uncomfortable, like speaking up about this, then just wear them. People are generally not going to bug you about holding the baby. If you have the baby in the in the carrier if you’re wearing them. And then if they do want to hold the baby just be like, oh, you know what, they’re so fussy and awaring him like this is the only way to keep him from screaming his head off. Again, blame the baby. I promise you that. What if you use that excuse of if I take him out of this carrier, he’s gonna start screaming This is the only way to keep him calm, like, people are going to leave you alone. They don’t want to hold a screaming baby.
And like I said, you know, remember this is your baby. This is your family. It’s your say. I know that sometimes setting boundaries and speaking up for yourself can be a little bit scary. But you deserve to have a happy holiday season. And the best way for you to do that is to do it on your own terms. So you have got this. I am rooting for you. I believe in you. And friend, don’t forget you can come and hang out with me on Instagram at Angel dot swan. You can grab my free postpartum planner on my website, Angel Swan calm and of course, don’t forget to go to Apple podcasts and rate review and subscribe to the better postpartum podcast. Thank you so much for listening and I’ll talk to you soon. Buh bye. Thank you so much for listening to the better postpartum podcast. Here’s what I want you to do next. If you loved what you heard today, would you do me a giant favor and leave me a written five star review? Those little love notes that you leave are the perfect way to thank me for putting out these episodes just for you. Seriously, it would mean the world to me. Next, take a screenshot of the episode you’re listening to right now and share it on your Instagram stories and make sure you tag me at Angel dot swan. That’s SW o n so that more moms can find this podcast and hopefully get the advice and encouragement they need to truly thrive with their babies. And don’t forget to come back every single week for more nuggets of wisdom and truth bombs about the early motherhood journey. I’ll talk to you next time. Bye bye